Monday, January 10, 2011

No back button, no Tardis

Not long after 9/11, the New Yorker magazine had a cartoon; a couple sat in a travel agents office and when asked where they wanted to go, answered, "September 10th." I had a similar reaction on Saturday, when I heard of the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords, Judge John Roll and 12 others (6 fatally) at a Safeway Supermarket, where the Congresswoman was holding a public meeting. Couldn't we start the day over again? But, of course, we couldn't. Just as we can't go back to September 10th and redo our airport security for that week. Just as I would have liked to go back to the day before the Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing and redo those events.

There is no way of redoing events. No going back and erasing and "improving" history. And, I am afraid, no Golden Age, no Garden of Eden, when and where life was wonderful for everyone. Never happened.

Pick an era and there were winners and losers, the big difference being that, in the United States, the pool of "winners" as a percentage of the population, had been growing since the middle of the 20th century. The growth was not easy, nor was admittance to the "winning" side given, nor guaranteed to anyone. But the promise of full acceptance into society was not limited to Horatio Alger myth, nor legacy. You did not have to be of the right color, or the correct last name or bank account. Right now, that pool of possible winners is shrinking. People are angry and scared, and because a few years ago everything seemed brighter than today, there is a much angry talk (and looking for blame), about bringing back "the good old days."

You can't. I can't. Even if we could agree on when those days were.

There is no back button, no time machine, no Tardis, we can only go forwards.

Where are we going?


Penny said...

Towards the horizon. Out there somewhere.


Anti Kate said...

'second [star} to the right, and straight on till morning'

Witch of Stitches said...

We're just going - we keep on going and that's good!